How marketing teams can win in a hybrid workplace
“How did we get through this?” Give it ten years, and when the detail of the memory has faded a little, we will remember the spirit of doing whatever it took to overcome the sudden change in work patterns caused by the pandemic. We are the improv generation, the generation that made it on the fly.
But right now, there is no romanticizing the story. Our research has found that the quick fixes put in place to deal with remote and hybrid working have reduced efficiency and made things more difficult for many creative and marketing teams.
Almost 60% of study participants reported that they found tasks such as having to duplicate or rework digital assets, such as videos, photos, audio files and graphics, more difficult than they did 12 to 18 months ago. And half say they are taking longer to create new digital assets than before, with 53% finding it harder to find the right assets when they need them.
Interestingly, 59% of organizations surveyed also said their top priority this year is to improve the efficiency of their marketing and creative teams, and nearly the same number said they want to create and publish more digital content.
But it’s clear that the temporary solutions and patchwork systems put in place in response to the pandemic aren’t making it easy.
The problem with “quick fix” solutions.
Many companies responded to the sudden shift to working from home in early 2020 by looking to cloud systems and their existing technologies.
While cloud systems enabled most organizations to work during the lockdown, limitations emerged, particularly in terms of managing and recovering assets that teams had to work on or share.
Version control and rights management tools, as well as analytics, have often been lacking, as has the ability to easily index, find and access needed assets. Creating new content and digital resources at scale has also proved much more difficult. Very few of the temporary solutions put in place have been connected to the rest of the systems that companies use.
In fact, only 31% of organizations surveyed said they had a “source of truth” that had the capabilities they needed and integrated with the other systems they trust.
The consequences of this have been and continue to be severe for businesses of all sizes.
Research institute Civey found that marketing teams spend three weeks a year just looking for files, while psychologist Gerald Weinberg found that switching between tasks (“context switching”) can reduce productivity by up to 80%
And in addition to staff wasting valuable time trying to find and work collaboratively on digital assets, more and more of them are reporting frustration, burnout and dissatisfaction, leading them to head for the door (the “Big Resignation’ saw more than 69 million people quit their jobs last year).
It’s becoming increasingly clear that there’s no substitute for proper workflows and collaborative solutions designed to integrate with other systems and increase efficiency (as well as employee satisfaction).
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Remote work is here to stay
More than half of managers and senior staff surveyed said they expected their teams to continue working remotely at least half the time, with only 22% expecting a full return to office work.
This supports ONS research which found that 85% of staff want a hybrid approach that combines working from home with time in the office.
And the latest analysis has revealed that 15% of all full-time staff in the US currently work fully remotely, and 30% have a hybrid arrangement.
This seismic shift in working patterns means, more than ever, the ability to work together easily is key. Whether it’s managing product information, developing new marketing campaigns, or simply reducing the cost of content creation, none of this can be done in today’s digital economy without tools and systems designed for col· collaboration and remote teamwork.
The winners and the losers
The research found that those organizations that are ‘digitally mature’and have a single ‘source of truth’ with all the capabilities and integrations creative and marketing teams need, they’re reaping the rewards.
They can easily collaborate remotely, create and rework digital assets faster, and deliver at scale much more efficiently.
Not only does this mean they are able to meet today’s demands quickly, but they are also better prepared to meet future business needs and respond to the rapidly changing world of work.
Also, because staff spend less time on unnecessary and frustrating manual tasks, they focus on value-added activities that benefit the business and provide greater job satisfaction.
On the other hand, organizations that still rely on the quick fixes put in place at the start of the pandemic are struggling to keep up.
Their speed and agility are severely compromised, and despite ambitions to make their creative and marketing teams more efficient, they rely on solutions that hinder this.
The question is, is your organization more or less efficient now because of the pandemic and the solutions you put in place?
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